How was Eid different in the 90s? All the things we can think of that were different in the 90s, they were so, partially or completely, because of the absence of smartphones and the Internet. Still, there are other things like the evolving structure of the neighbourhoods that has caused many of the changes. Reasons and quasi sociological theories aside, if looking back brings back a beautiful memory then it will have been worthwhile. With that in mind, we list five things that were staples of Qurabani Eid (and Eid in general) in the 90s.
Cow watching tour
This was a ritual among all young boys in the neighbourhoods. Friends would get together or tag along with a 'boro bhai' to go around the 'paara' and see the cows. This would start four or even five days before Eid, because then Qurbani animals were bought earlier compared to now. It was also okay to get through a building's gate to see the cows and goats (buildings didn't have half-asleep security guards back then). Sometimes, a considerably devious boy would even suggest blowing up a 'potka' right behind a particularly angry cow. The ensuing carnage had the potential for a viral video, except no one would be filming it then. Consequently, some of the boys from the tour group would spend a very turbulent evening, following an in-person complaint from an 'uncle' angrier than the cow.
Speaking of 'potka', there used to be quite elaborate preparations before Eid to hoard all sorts of firecrackers, which were called 'bombs.' There was the regular potka with a fuse that you light up and throw away before the explosion. There were 'hand bombs' that blew up on throwing them on a wall. There was the 'morich bati' or 'moricha' that whizzed around with a fire trail. And then of course, there was the PG-13 'tarabati', which every kid was allowed to buy.
35 photos, if any
In the 90s, cameras weren't like opinions – everyone didn't have one. And the available ones weren't equipped with gigabytes of memory. You had films and one roll could take only 35 photos. What outrage! But the upside was that people chose their moments carefully. Now it makes sense why everyone was posing all the time in those old photos, doesn't it?
Hand written Eid cards
Without the Internet, laptops and smartphones, greeting cards only existed in the analog realm. There was always a big rush to get the good Eid cards from all the little stalls that used to spring up in different corners of the streets. It's so easy now to send a GIF sticker to someone on Facebook that we forget it took time and a careful selection process to decide on a greeting card. And then, when you finished writing the personalised message, maybe a feeble attempt at poetry on occasion, it felt like you just wrote the Iliad.
Marathon TV specials
It's not really an endangered thing – we just have so much of Eid programs that they don't matter anymore. At least not like in the 90s, when there was only one TV channel. People made their Eid plans around those programs and made sure to get back home from the 'dawats' before Ittyadi. You didn't have the option to watch them later on YouTube. But who said that had to be a bad thing? Sitting in a noisy gathering to watch Eid TV programs with your siblings, cousins (even the ones you liked less), all other family members and 'buas' has to be one of the most endearing experiences from that time.